International Canadian artists Nisha and Dan Ferguson knew as children that they would be artists. Both were fascinated with drawing since the impressionable age of three. They both answered without hesitation, when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, "Artist!"
They spent every summer of their childhood in their family’s cottages: in the Kawarthas north of Toronto for Dan, and in the Gatineaus, east of Ottawa for Nisha. They each traveled for a year before enrolling at the Art Centre of Central Technical School of Ontario, which is of course as you may have guessed by now, where they met some 20 years ago.
Right after graduation Dan and Nisha married. With as much precision and as sure of one another as two trapeze artists who meet in mid air, they began to collaborate artistically and have never looked back. Dan is the sculptor and mould maker, and Nisha is the designer and painter.
Now parents of two sons, Joshua and Julian, and internationally renowned as DaNisha Sculpture they exhibit their work in prestigious galleries and boutiques throughout Canada, Mexico the United States and Australia. Always open to adventure, places of great beauty, and the stimulation of change, Dan, Nisha, and their sons relocated to San Miguel de Allende Mexico in 2001. The art and architecture of Mexico have inspired Dan, and Nisha with new combinations of color and light.
When you hear people speak of DaNisha Sculpture you will hear the words optimism, excitement, innocence, wonder, and awe. These descriptions accurately reflect the source of a vision held since childhood. Neither Dan nor Nisha ever wavered from their early vision to be artists. Nisha, an accomplished acrobat and choreographer, may once have been tempted to run away and join the circus, but she founded the successful performance troop in Ontario known as "Gravityworks," and realized she could incorporate a long held fascination for the circus into her life and art. In San Miguel de Allende Mexico Nisha reformed and trained a new group which performs around the state of Guanajuato to this day.
"Working with my life partner," says Dan, "and compromising my ideas in order to find something new is a metaphor for our life together. However, compromise is an illusion. What it really does is allow for possibilities neither of us may have thought of."
If you want to see the complete line of DaNisha Sculpture, and read more about them, go to www.danishasculpture.com
Over time our work has evolved in fundamental ways. It is very true that one must always return to the basics in order to improve and hone one’s work.
We use two materials; ceramic and bronze. Our work then consists of three components; sculpture, drawing/painting and design.
While Nisha has been naturally improving her drawing/painting skills, and I my sculpture skills, over the years we have found ourselves compelled to re-study the fundamental principles of design. In fact, we realized that these principles were those which we ignored, or deemed too boring to pay attention to in art school. They are precisely the building blocks our teachers tried to impress upon us as impossible to do without if one endeavors to design well.
My sculpture has improved in that I have learned, and am continuously learning, how to edit the forms of life so as to describe figures elegantly and without clutter. Real life contains an infinite amount of details. It is my job to find and arrive at just the right amount of detail (not too much!) in order to create something beautiful. As in all things, there is beauty in simplicity. This is the art of sculpture.
As sculpture is my department within the collaboration of “DaNisha”, drawing/painting is Nisha’s department. She concerns herself with two particular aspects of the art of drawing/painting; color and line.
She says; “Believing in the power of color was something I came to slowly. Grasping the depth of emotion color can convey has been my challenge. I cross into the world of emotion and color with excitement, searching for ways to express feelings and love. The endless struggle for expressive line is a challenge that confronts all artists. Studying the masters and endless practice are the solution. Creating a beautiful line is a joy unlike any other.”
Nisha and I each create through a different medium; however design is what unites us. It has been a slow dawn but it is now more than ever that we understand the subtle, yet profoundly important principles of design. Principles such as: shape, proportion, balance, repetition, harmony, unity, decoration and thematic consistency to name a few.
The art of design embodies as many different principles as sculpture and drawing/painting. In fact, all are integral and necessitate a carefully considered orchestration. Herein lays the true collaboration of “DaNisha.”